Goodnight, Melancholy (Nocko meets Lindy)

Brief description

The protagonists unpack Nocko, an AI-powered robot shaped like a seal, and introduces him to her psychological support companion robot Lindy. Nocko uses his high-resolution camera eyes - designed to be cute and inspire endearment in its users - to make sense of the situation, while Lindy also observes the toy carefully through her own camera eyes, being overwhelmed by the amount of new information since she is programmed to serve humans mental health support.

Pull Quotes

Nocko turned his fuzzy little head to regard us, his high-speed cameras scanning, analysing Lindy’s form. I could almost hear the computations churning in his body. His algorithms were designed to respond only to speaking subjects.

Nocko extended a furry flipper, gazed at me with his oversized eyes, and then turned to Lindy. The designer had given him the form of a baby white seal for a reason: anybody who saw his chubby cheeks and huge, dark eyes couldn’t help but let down their guard and feel the impulse to give him a hug, pat his head, and tell him, “Awww, so good to meet you!”.

Lindy observed Nocko carefully. Her eyes were two black buttons, and the cameras were hidden behind them. I hadn’t bothered to sew a mouth for her, which meant that her facial expressions were rather constrained, like a princess who had been cursed to neither smile nor speak. I knew, however, that Lindy could speak, but she was nervous because of the new environment. She was being overwhelmed by too much information and too many choices that had to be balanced, like a complicated board situation in weiqi in which every move led to thousands of cascading future shifts.

Work that the situation appears in

Title Publication Type Year Creator
Goodnight, Melancholy Narrative, Short story Yao Wang
Who does what?
Machine P.O.V
Not machine P.O.V.

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